A ringworm infection is also called a dermatophytosis. It is caused by a species of fungus called dermatophytes that live in the keratin found in the epidermis of the skin, in the hair, fingernails and toenails. It usually causes round rashes with raised, red edges that have healthy-looking skin in the middle. If ringworm comes in contact with the hair, it can live inside the shafts and cause the strands to break off. If the infection reaches the nails, it will change color, thicken, and crumble from the finger or toe. It can also cause baldness.
It is easy to get this disease because it is very contagious. You can come into contact with ringworm spores through other people or objects that they have touched. The fungus lives in warm, humid areas, but dies quickly in cold, dry ones.
There are certain places that are more likely to be infectious. These likely areas are often humid, including common showers, public restrooms, and the beach. One place mushrooms are likely to thrive is in gyms. This is because it is worn by people in small clothes or clothes soaked with sweat. Sweat often covers equipment, which is used by multiple people, making the spread of fungus in humans likely. Wrestlers are also more prone to this disease than most, exercising on wet, sweat-soaked mats.
To avoid getting ringworm, you should wear flip flops on the beach and when using public showers and toilets. If you use gym equipment, make sure they are dry first and cover the surfaces with a towel. You should also check with management if they regularly use antifungal cleaning treatments on their equipment. You should also refrain from borrowing clothes and shoes. If you frequent thrift stores, be sure to wash the items you buy with a bleach solution to kill fungus.
If you do get a ringworm infection, keep in mind that about 20% of humans will have it at least once in their lifetime. Also, the infection is relatively easy to cure. A simple over-the-counter topical cream should be used for two to four weeks to make sure the fungus is dead at the roots. An antifungal soap would also help.
While undergoing treatment, the infection must be covered so that fungal spores do not get stained on clothing and sheets. It would also help prevent scratching the infection, which can spread ringworm to other parts of your body. After a week of treatment, your symptoms may be gone, but you are probably still contagious. So keep covering the infection and continue the treatment. If no visible change occurs after a week of using over-the-counter treatments, a doctor should be consulted. In some severe cases, oral medication may be required.
You should also make sure to wash your clothing, bedding, and hard surfaces with a bleach solution to kill lingering ringworm spores. It would also be helpful if you could find out where the ringworm infection was spread to prevent it from happening again.
In some cases, your pet could be the cause of the problem. This means that you should have your pet tested immediately. If you suspect that another person or animal also has the same yeast infection, separate them and their loved ones from the rest of the home immediately. Being vigilant about curing ringworm and preventing it from spreading to other humans does the trick.
It is relatively easy to get a ringworm infection and very easy to cure. The trick is to stop it from spreading and continue treatment to kill the fungus at the root.